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Nevernight 

When the writing is filled to the brim with purple prose, a reader like me has no time to try and infer whatever under it. Writers are supposed to make their intentions clear using as little words as possible not drown it with adjectives to the point it feels as though I trying analyze everything. And the whole substance apart from the pretty writing is completely lacking in substance. 

Mia’s intentions are clear, but they are often boggled with such descriptions that it makes it so hard for me to even link to her. So hard for me to even connect with her. Those passages felt unreal, I wasn’t reading through her, I was reading about her. All of it was described by using descriptions that didn’t warrant so much adjectives being thrown, so much vagueness that it was so hard just to know. That it made me lose the entire reason why I wanted to read this in the first place. 

I wasn’t reading a book, I was trying to understand literary jargon. All of it crammed, without anywhere where I could just be mindless. I want to be to easily read this book, not wading through a thick set of purple prose and still having to infer what was under it. This was the reason why I couldn’t be bothered, not every reader has the patience of a saint to be reading through this, and seeing it with a fine comb. 

The characters in general all lost any chance for me to connect with them through the writing. It just wasn’t my style. It was too long to get the meaning across, I like books uses way less words to get the meaning through. Not find ways to go around it, do so long that I probably missed out on a lot of details and I didn’t care. The writing, was a bore and a pain to read through for me. 

I am not one of those, and I would not reread unless I loved that book to death. And here I am telling you, if you want to read this, read it when you have nothing better to do. Not when you have a slushpile to get through. And I simply don’t have that kind of patience to dedicate myself to be reading this piece of literary masterpiece. 

So, check it out if you feel like wanting something written that is thick. That is heavy. And don’t mind sex scenes right in the middle of it. And also, if you have the patience of a saint. To those that managed to finish this without skimming, I salute you. 

Rating: 1 out of 5

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Ravensong

 

Name: Raven Song

Series: Inoki’s Game (Book 1)

Paperback: 290 pages

Published Date: March 14, 2016

Publisher: Lucid Dreams Publishing

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1944674004

ISBN-13: 978-1944674007

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29521339-raven-song

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Song-Dystopian-Fantasy-Inokis/dp/1944674004/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/raven-song-i-a-ashcroft/1123510684

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/raven-song

 

Book Blurb:

A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.

 

Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to be one of the lucky few touched by magic, a candidate for the Order of Mages. He is a man now, and that dream has died. But, the ravens still follow. The nightmares still whisper in his ear.

 

Anna’s life was under the sun, her future bright, her scientific work promising. She knew nothing of The Bombings, the poisoned world, or the occult. One day, she went to work, and the next, she awoke in a box over a hundred years in the future, screaming, fighting to breathe, and looking up into the eyes of a smuggler. Anna fears she’s gone crazy, unable to fill the massive hole in her memories, and terrified of the strange abilities she now possesses.

 

The Coalition government has turned its watchful eyes towards them. The secret factions of the city move to collect them first. And, old gods stir in the darkness, shifting their pawns on the playing field.

 

If Anna and Jackson wish to stay free, they must learn what they are and why they exist.

 

Unfortunately, even if they do, it may be too late.

 

Raven Song is the first of a four book adult-oriented dystopian fantasy series, a story of intrigue, love, violence, and the old spirits in the shadows who wait for us to notice them again. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Charlie Human will enjoy this dark magic-laced tale rooted on the bones of what our world could become.

 

Author Bio:

​I. A. Ashcroft has been writing fiction in many forms for almost twenty years. The author’s first book, written at age seven, featured the family cat hunting an evil sorceress alongside dragons and eagles. This preoccupation with the fantastical has not changed in the slightest.

 

Now, the author dwells in Phoenix, AZ alongside a wonderful tale-spinner and two increasingly deranged cats. Ashcroft writes almost exclusively in the realm of darker fantasy these days, loving to entertain adults with stories of magic, wonder, despair, violence, and hope, bringing a deep love of mythology into every tale penned. The author also loves diverse and intriguing casts of characters.

 

When not buried in a book, one might find Ashcroft learning languages, charting road trips, and playing tabletop RPGs with clever and fun people.

Contact the Author:

Website: http://www.ia-ashcroft.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/i.a.ashcroft

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ia_ashcroft

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15077746.I_A_Ashcroft

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/I.-A.-Ashcroft/e/B01CTY42S0/

Review: 

I did find this okay. Anna and Jackson are both distinct, with their narration being relatable. But for me, it just didn’t work. It just didn’t cut. It didn’t feel like it to me. I simply could not immerse myself in the story, reading it and relating to them was the best I could do. 

As for the world, the future is rather well thought out. Facing radiation, nuclear exposure. It’s true that we would face the problem eventually, but I could have liked a little more development and exploration of this. And making feel more like that world, I didn’t feel that it was really any different. Even though over a hundred years in the future likely would change everything. 

But I just couldn’t feel with them, I didn’t find myself supporting them. It felt as though nothing was happening. Anna and Jackson have a lot more development, yet their interactions was so few and their relationship went to being very friendly really quick. I just couldn’t buy it, and that is a flaw of the book I feel about. 

The plot was also quite a letdown, there was so many ways this could have gone. Whether Anna is someone that lives forever, or whether Anna is extremely wanted because of her abilities. I could see why, she could prevent radiation. Yet, I just didn’t feel that danger here. There wasn’t any tension really driving me, and I really couldn’t feel the emotion of the characters. It just went over me. 

I would say that this is a case of it’s not you, it’s me since it is a very good book. But it just didn’t connect with me, and I couldn’t really enjoy it. But I still recommend you to check it out, and it does have good character development but to me, needs a lot on the plot, the characters interaction. 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Death Sworn 

What did I like about it? It doesn’t have a heroine who becomes either too perfect or too stupid by the end of the book. She is somewhere in between, and she is extremely relatable. She is someone that basically lost all that mattered to her, yet I don’t read about her moaning about her loss of power. 

She instead just chooses the best routes, the best choices for herself. She makes the decision herself. And I like the way even after being bullied, she doesn’t give up. She doesn’t make excuses for herself. 

Even though the scope of this book is small, we are restricted to a cave. Nowhere else. A cave. Filled with assassins who are male. I get the feeling that many of you would be thinking that this would be a reverse harem. Nope, none of them are interested in her. 

The one guy that even has some form of feeling for her, still isn’t the usual idiot who would sacrifice all for her. He is guarded, he has his own plans. And his loyalties is to the master first. He doesn’t just magically fall in love with her. 

The way it deals with familiar tropes and the way it keeps many safely out of the way. I would say is the best part of this book. More importantly was the running theme of whether one life saving many would be worth it, such as the assassins who kill to save so much more. To create a better world. 

This are all important parts of the book. And the romance never takes over. It is more about Ileni trying to find the murderer, training. And the ending, was perfection. That was something I never saw coming, and I look forward to the next book dealing with it. That Ileni would be in the Empire, and the way it was written. It fits her so. 

She is someone that doesn’t like killing, it is explicitly shown and she never changes. She treasures life. She is realistic, she doesn’t whine when life is unfair. To me, that is a real heroine that I would admire. 

So overall, pick this book up if you are sick and tired of the usual tropes. The usual storytelling. And expect something that is quick, but isn’t too heavy or dark.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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The Dark Days Pact 

This entire sequel does live up to its name. It managed to make it seem even more dangerous for Helen, and that as a woman she still needs her reputation. And it really makes the world seem rather real, with the way that a lot of things are neither black or white or even the truth. 

We do begin right after the disastrous ball, with her learning to be a full reclaimer in fact. The entire world isn’t that accepting, Helen has to face quite a bit of prejudice because she’s the first. Her mother neither had the training nor taking part in the actual reclaiming. She was merely a poor vessel used to dump all the darkness into. 

As for the constant danger Helen faces, it is indeed a rather realistic presentation. Since she is a woman and during those times, they were more or less sheltered from the world. And expected to be an ornament. 

I really liked that this felt that her struggles were real. That when she needed to be trusted, it wasn’t always a given to her. At the same time, the same goes through when it comes to her training. Some believe that she should step back, some believe that a male at her side would do her good. 

As for the ship, I don’t really care whether she ends up with Carlston or Selburn. I would rather if she became independent and tried to find another love. Both of them, just doesn’t appeal to me at all. Selburn tries to protect constantly, and it does come off as belittling her rather than actually protecting her. Carlston, I just couldn’t feel their chemistry. Here is where I would want a middle ground, a middle ground between all of them to decide and I would prefer if Helen ended up with neither. 

They just don’t feel so fitted with each other. 

As for the pacing and the plot, it does quickly moves rather than at the snail’s pace of the previous books. Slowly, Helen needs to make a decision. And every decision has its consequences. And here is where we actually see a lot of the work that Helen needed to do, and actually having to dress as a man. Which is the most interesting part of the book, seeing that men’s dressing clearly needed quite a bit of help too. They clearly couldn’t dress themselves. 

As for the way the world views Helen, I would say that it is really realistic if you ask me. She is a woman and she is a reclaimer. And more often than not, they think she would put her emotions first. But in reality, she is trying to do the best she can and making the most sensible decisions as she can. 

I would say that this sequel is up to standard with the previous book. And perhaps even better too. As for the romance, I would say it again, I ship no one. But the world is fascinating and interesting given how much it seemed gothic yet completely original in terms of abilities and worldbuliding. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 

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Deep Blue 

I just couldn’t take how childish this story was. It didn’t feel like it was meant for young adults, it was meant for middle grade at best and I would even recommend it for children. It didn’t have a single ounce of page that was unsuitable for children, and the dialogue was childish at best. I should have known when Disney supported this. 

And what did I feel about it, I couldn’t even connect to Serafina or even any characters here. It just wasn’t my cup of tea, and the dialogue lacked any substance to make it feel more realistic. It just made me feel nothing. 

The worldbuliding was quite detailed, with plenty of details that I really like them because of how it is developed. And how the countries are called. I can even derive a certain country’s name from its origins. Although at first it sounded strange, but then it made quite a bit of sense to me(that kingdom was Qin, on hindsight it was quite smart.)

But apart from that, I could barely care about the characters. There wasn’t really anything that I cared about within the characters themselves. Even the comedy didn’t get to me. 

Although the plot was decent, and it was quite interesting on some levels. But the characters simply could not support it, it was just too light hearted for me. So I would say that the main issue of the book lies with that I simply cannot believe that so many things were so simple, and so many things were simply just so happy and easily resolved. 

So, I would say that this book simply didn’t feel convincing as a young adult. For children or middle grade, I would be able to reconsider my rating. But since this is under young adult, this was simply too light and too unrealistic to get to me. In other words, it’s not you, it’s me. 

But I still recommend it to readers who want something light, or easy. But those who want something darker and a little more down to earth, avoid this book. And really the Disney label is a good gauge whether you should read this book. 

Rating: 2 out of 5 

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The Glass Sentence 

I would say that the drawing point of this book lies in its premise and worldbuliding. The way the Great Disruption affected the world, had been fascinating to read since it threw the entire world into completely different ages and possibly different times. 

Also, all the while introducing many points about the side effects of the Great Disruption. People who came back to see that their age is lifeless and completely abandoned, and people who do not believe in the current world. 

That is really what made it for the book. Even more than the characters honestly, since they weren’t as unique as other characters from other books. But the worldbuliding is really good and level headed, with plenty of history. 

The only thing I would have wanted to complain was that I wanted much more. And how the worldbuliding was executed needed a lot more work, I was bored to tears on so many of the pages. 

The characters are okay, their interactions many a time quite dull and uninteresting. And the only thing really interesting about Sophia is her lack of having any sense of time. The rest you can find in almost any other female main character if you ask me. 

Same for Theo, Uncle Shadrack and almost the other cast of characters which I barely have an impression on. They simply didn’t compel me, and the dialogue at times was shallow and quite simplistic. It didn’t have anything really thought provoking in it, or any quotes which I would have wanted to read about. 

That is the real issue with the book. The characters are bland, the worldbuliding was basically dumped onto me. The only thing that redeemed this has to be the worldbuliding, which was fascinating to read about and the plot which was fine, giving Sophia an actual motivation to go in a journey to find her uncle.. But the rest could be done better. 

So, I would say if you want to read this, just keep in mind that you need a lot of patience and a lot of love for finely crafted worlds. If you prefer characters, I would say just move on. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Daughter Of The Pirate King

This was one funny book, especially with how Alosa was both hilarious and at the same time utterly brutal. Well, she is like a pirate with a really good sense of humor. And she doesn’t shame them either, she doesn’t shy away from having brutal fights or killing. Or even resorting to underhanded means to survive.

Even though there are many places where it could have been better but there was one thing certain I really liked how Alosa doesn’t try to think of herself as a man or even a woman. Just a pirate King who loves her father, and uses any methods necessary to finish her task. Exactly like a pirate. 

Alosa is enjoyable because of that. And also because despite her father having a lot of children, yet choosing her to claim, there is a good reason why she was chosen. And a good way to insert magic, and to even suggest about her father’s personality. Even if I would doubt it a little, but for me it is certain that it would become very important in the subsequent books. 

I do like how Alosa isn’t able to see certain betrayals coming, and that even for something as important as retrieving a map leading to precious treasure, her father treats her as a capable person and that eventually translates to a plot twist of its own. 

Though, I would have preferred Alosa to have resorted to it faster. And not just be seen walking around the deck and enjoying being captive. Even though she does constantly think of various ways to do it, and various ways to get the map. And when she does make her move, a hell of a ride ensues. And well, I could see her skill and her talents as a pirate. That she wasn’t just only telling us that she was a pirate, she had also been trained in the skill too. And wasn’t someone who tried to rationalize her profession or make it less grim about how pirates treat women. Though I did like the use of a female crew, even though they don’t really have much appearance. But I do want them to have a larger role in the later book. 

I really enjoyed how this book was handled in terms of plot an execution and how Alosa was portrayed as a pirate. She is one except that she also has a sense of humor and isn’t afraid to resort to seducing men to get her way. So, I would recommend this to ya readers who long for a pirate who acts and even thinks like one and isn’t simply a really whitewashed version of them. And also ya readers who really want to see a good female main character, who isn’t too affected by romance and even despite that would still put her goal first in front of romance. 

Rating: 4 out of 5